Businesses Show Preference for Cloud Bundling: Report

One third of U.S. SMBs are interested in bundling multiple hosted infrastructure and remotely managed services offerings.

U.S. small to medium-size business technology buyers are increasingly allocating a larger proportion of their spending to cloud-based services, according to recent AMI-Partners research. The report found that proportion was 10 percent in 2010, but is forecasted to rise to more than 15 percent in 2015. As this migration into the cloud accelerates, SMB buyers are showing a strong inclination to purchase bundled cloud offerings as opposed to a stand-alone application, the research indicated.

For example, AMI research showed that 38 percent of U.S. SMBs have indicated a strong preference for obtaining SAAS (software as a service) as part of a package/bundle, versus only 11 percent who are interested in a single service. One third of U.S. SMBs are interested in bundling multiple hosted infrastructure and remotely managed services offerings, versus 9 percent of firms who only want a single service.

"A significant segment of U.S. SMBs prefer to deploy multiple cloud services in order to achieve flexibility, ease of IT management and lower CAPEX," said Donald Best, executive vice president of worldwide business development and client services for AMI. "This is also driving an evolution in the channel ecosystem, as communications service providers and hosts increasingly offer bundles, including productivity suites and other cloud-based applications."

AMI's Worldwide Cloud Services Practice includes two studies, each available for 23 countries: SMB Cloud Overview and SMB Cloud Playbook - Strategic and Tactical GTM Guide. The studies include SMB preference for cloud-based application bundles, price sensitivity and purchase channel preferences, as well as comprehensive coverage of SMB adoption of cloud-based applications, managed services and supporting infrastructure, including platforms and devices.

The company said the studies are designed to provide a road map for successful cloud go-to-market strategies and tactics. The reports provide an overview of the growing impact of cloud services on the SMB market from the perspectives of cloud mindset and economic influence, cloud-enabling platforms, infrastructure and devices, SAAS, unified communications and remotely managed IT services, current and planned adoption and deployment of cloud solutions and cloud usage behavior, decision making, and purchase channels.

AMI's soon-to-be-published 2011 U.S. SMB Cloud Playbook - Strategic and Tactical GTM Guide details preferences for SAAS and hosted infrastructure bundling, as well as hosted unified communications and productivity/collaboration suite bundles. "Besides showing market size and growth, this research details numerous cloud services bundles and price points, with data showing the attributes driving optimal bundles, as well as revenue uplift," Best said. "This research also details preferred purchase channel preferences for cloud bundles."